This brief description of Boonton's history is based upon the work of Alex D. Fowler as shown in Boonton's 1976 Master Plan.
Boonton became a separate municipality, and was incorporated as a Town under a charter granted by the State Legislature in March, 1867. The area within the limits of the new Town was formerly part of the old Townships of Pequannock and Hanover. Under the charter, the new Town was governed by a seven-man Board of Trustees, but, by an amendment to the charter in 1872, authority was vested in the Mayor and Common Council, now known as the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.
The largest industry in the Town of Boonton during the 20th Century had its beginnings in 1917, when E.A. Stevenson & Company established the "Butter Works" on the site of the old Knox Hat factory, and started processing of cocoanut and vegetable oils and the manufacture of margarine. Under later operation by E.F. Drew & Company, the plant in Boonton had grown to be one of the largest in the country for the processing of edile oils and allied products. The plant closed in the early 1990's and the site remains vacant.
The present Town bears only small resemblance to the village of Booneton Falls, and still less to the village of Old Boonton, whose site has been covered by the Jersey City reservoir since 1903. How well Boonton will develop depends on the skill used in adapting outmoded features to present and future needs without destroying the remnant charms of its interesting past.
Originally named Boonetown honoring Thomas Boone, Governor of New Jersey in 1760, Boonton has been made world famous by the manufacture of Boontonware plastic tableware. It is also known for its many antique shops.
Boonton's development coincided with the construction of the Morris Canal and the subsequent rise of the New Jersey Iron Company.